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Tips for flying out of Denver International Airport during the busy holiday season

Posted at 12:49 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 14:49:16-05

DENVER – The holiday season is upon us and for many people, that means flying to visit friends and family.

The upcoming Thanksgiving weekend promises to be a busy one -- AAA anticipates the largest number of travelers since 2005.

Officials at Denver International Airport said they expect to see 1.15 million passengers passing through the airport between Nov. 21 and Nov. 27, a 3-percent increase over last year. Sunday, Nov. 26 will likely be the busiest day of the Thanksgiving travel period, with more than 192,000 people expected on that day alone.

With so many people planning to fly, it’s important to be prepared before you head to the airport.

Here are some tips for avoid stress and headache at the airport:

  • Allow for extra time! The airport is going to be busier than usual, and that means it will take longer to get through security. Plan for that and try to arrive about 2 hours before your flight leaves.
  • Check in online or via your airline’s mobile app before you leave for the airport so you don’t have to wait in line at the counter. There are also self-serve kiosks available.
  • Check parking availability before you go at or call 303-DIA-PARK. Don't want to deal with parking? Take the A-Line train from Union Station.
  • Keep TSA security restrictions in mind – for example, liquids in containers that are larger than 3.4 ounces must be put in checked baggage (except medications and baby formula etc.) and laptops should be in your carry-on (but taken out for screening). More info at
  • Packing holiday gifts? Leave them unwrapped, or TSA will unwrap them during screening.
  • Know your airline’s baggage policy and make sure any carry-ons are the appropriate size.
  • If you’re picking someone up at DIA, be aware that curbside parking is not allowed at the Jeppesen Terminal’s pickup area. A cell phone waiting area is located at 7684 N. Wenatchee St, about three miles west of the terminal. You can wait there and have the passenger call when they land.

Once you’ve arrived at the airport, you can get help at digital screens located throughout the facility. Also watch for volunteers wearing blue vests who can answer questions and point you in the right direction. Help is also available at